EULOGY for Jesper Switzer Møller, co-founder of Roskilde Festival

Just over 50 years ago, two secondary school students in Roskilde had an idea that changed Danish cultural life. Nothing less. They dreamt of creating a festival that could gather thousands of people around music and the desire to change the world. A festival that could set the agenda. The festival was Roskilde Festival. The two students were Mogens Sandfær and Jesper Switzer Møller.

Jesper is no longer with us. He was 68 years old.

1971: Jesper Switzer Møller (to the left) and Mogens Sandfær promoting Sound Festival which is renamed Roskilde Festival i 1973.

I never got to know Jesper personally, but his and Mogens' commitment stands for me as a powerful symbol of young decisiveness and desire for change. It oozes of zest for life and courage. And the fact that they just chose to create a festival – and that the festival has become what it is today – testifies to the great importance that art and culture have for us. For our identity and for our community. For what we are and want to be. For change. Art never lets us stand still.

Jesper and Mogens dared dream big, they had the courage to make the dream a reality, to give it life and share it. Today, a huge community has taken that dream forward. It lives throughout the year. It is in our – and not least – in thousands of young hearts. I don't think it's too much to say that right now it's the dream that's keeping us keeping on. The dream of coming together in a large, diverse and loving community around music, art and the belief that we can make a difference.

Dear Jesper, thank you for daring to dream and living out that dream. Honoured be your memory.

Dear all the rest of you: Let's keep the dream alive!

Signe Lopdrup
CEO of Roskilde Festival